The Future of Student Assessments in Arkansas

It’s no secret that the Common Core State Standards are controversial, both here and throughout the country. I still don’t fully understand why, and I highly suspect much of it is political, but regardless, a controversy exists. In March, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced he had appointed individuals to serve on the Governor’s Council on Common …

Legislative Update

Just a few education bills filed recently that have caught my attention: SB176: This bill proposes to modify the qualifications required for the Commissioner of Education. Currently, the Commissioner is required to hold at least a Master’s Degree and have ten years experience as a teacher, with five of those years being in an administrative …

Legislative Update

One full week of the 2015 General Session is behind us, and surprisingly, there haven’t been many education bills filed that have caught my attention. The most notable bill filed, HB1077, would allow public college and university staff members to carry concealed handguns on campus. If you recall, guns on college campuses was a hot …

Coming Soon: 2015 Regular Session

It’s been a while since I last posted. The holidays and a new baby girl at home have kept me a bit busy over the last few weeks. However, I’m now back in the swing of things and plan to start posting regularly again over the next few weeks. The 2015 Regular Session of the …

Arkansas Schools to Receive Letter Grades

Yesterday, the Arkansas State Board of Education voted to adopt a letter-grade school rating system for every public school in the state. Beginning this school year, the Arkansas Department of Education will rate each school with a letter grade, A through F, as part of the school’s annual performance reports that are compiled and distributed …

Teacher Evaluations and Student Growth

The new school year marks the first year of full implementation of the state’s new Teacher Excellence and Support System, a state-wide, mandatory teacher evaluation system intended to standardize comprehensive teacher evaluations and support. School districts piloted the program last year, but this will be the first year of mandatory implementation, as well as the …

College Resources for Arkansas Students

Open Education Database¬†(OEDb.org) recently contacted me regarding an online comprehensive college resource guide they’ve put together for Arkansas. OEDb.org is a website that compiles information about online college offerings by state, and also contains a comprehensive listing of free online classes and lectures in a variety of subjects, such as business, education, liberal arts, and …

The Battle Over Common Core Continues

The State of Louisiana is in the news once again, and it’s certainly not a glowing endorsement of the current status of the state’s public education system. Not one, but two lawsuits have been filed this week alone regarding the State’s implementation of the common core state standards. Initially, forty-five states plus the District of …

Special Session Starts Today

I’ve written briefly about the problems with teacher health insurance in Arkansas in the past here, here, and here. Last fall, Governor Beebe called a special session in order to find a solution to the projected 50% increase in premiums for teachers that was slated to begin this past January. A short-term solution was implemented, …